Unpacking failure at strategy in the opposition Nelson Chamisa

Sam Matema-Herald Correspondent

Strategy speaks to a game plan.

 It speaks to a set of tactics that are used to reach a defined target. It is clear in terms of the prescriptions on defining five fundamental questions; where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? Which way is best and how do we ensure safe arrival?

Answering the aforesaid critical questions is pertinent in as far as it provides a baseline and in as far as it uses that baseline to inform future trajectory.

It bridges where we are and where we want to go. A road map, set of tactics that, as we move towards the set target(s), it maximises own strengths while minimising strengths of competition. 

It is designed, ultimately, to put the intended beneficiary on a profitable footing vis-a-vis competition in the eyes of a specific and defined target audience. 


This speaks to inexactness, obscurity, vagueness, doubtfulness, uncertainty, puzzle, enigma, doublespeak and/or double-talk. The long and short of it is that there is no clarity in terms of direction of travel and ultimate target. It is both confused and confusing, and therefore its ineffectiveness and collapse is inevitable. 

From the foregoing, strategic ambiguity on its own is no strategy at all if what befell the opposition, CCC, is some kind of political litmus paper and litmus test. 

The opposition supporters did not and still do not know whether they were coming or going. 

They are not sure if their political bus is stationary or is moving. They were and still are constantly reminded, #Godisinit, and nothing clear and substantive is being communicated. 

The Lord in his infinite wisdom is not confused and ambiguous. The electorate out there, in their wisdom, is not stupid and can see when confusion and tomfoolery reigns supreme. 

The CCC was doomed right from the get go under the (mis)direction of one Advocate Nelson Chamisa and his ilk. A false start begets a false ending. 

There are no bad soldiers 

In leadership, there are no bad soldiers, but bad commanders do exist. 

Whatever has happened and is happening in the opposition ranks in Zimbabwe is squarely attributed to the key player, Nelson Chamisa. 

He must take responsibility for all his errors of omission and commission. 

He made a bed of nails, and he must sleep on it. Let him carry his cross. And admitting that he took a wrong turn will not be a sign of weakness but strength and maturity. That he is still perched on his high horse, is ample testimony that he brooks no advice. It is his own way or there is no way. Sad! 


Chamisa, out of his own wisdom or lack thereof, was caught up in a love affair with his own thinking. 

He got to a stage where he believed he was the best political creation to ever happen to Zimbabwe, the Alpha and Omega of things political, the political litmus paper, the barometer of political perfection and all. 

He got to a stage where he was hearing his voice and his voice alone in terms of sources of political and leadership counsel. The CCC became too personal a project and a personal adventure. 

His inner circle did not help matters.

 They celebrated him as if he walked on water. 

To the extent that he became infallible and blameless.

Theirs became politics of the heart and not the mind. Emotions! You put your heart where your head should be. In the greater scheme of things, this is sad, and the end result is as obvious as the sun will for sure rise and fall. 

This was a serious miscalculation and a monumental blunder. One that will haunt him for as long as he lives. 

The great betrayal

At a critical moment in the life of the CCC, when the ordinary supporter thought they were about to cross the Rubicon, the head of the train disengaged and de-linked.

When they were facing by-elections, Chamisa resigned from the party that he formed. He left the CCC sheep without a shepherd so he could massage his big ego. 

He did not consult his colleagues. 

The elections did not stop because of his departure. 

If anything, what followed was a referendum on Chamisa. He thought all MPs would follow him and resign from Parliament en masse. 

That did not happen, and Chamisa is not prepared to come down his high horse, with the opposition at sixes and seven. 

Credibility issues

Built as a democratic alternative, the glaring contradictions in the main opposition political edifice is shocking. 

How can a democratic opposition outfit fail to have a constitution and structures? 

This is the height of dictatorship. Which serious political leader runs away from that which they formed/started arguing infiltration? 

If you cannot manage infiltration from whatever quarters, what guarantee is there that there will not be infiltration in future that will replay what befell the CCC during the build up to February 3 2024 by-elections? To trust or not is the real deal now. 

Is Chamisa a democrat in deed or a democrat in words and speeches? 

How is democracy located in the absence of a constitution and party structures? 

It is this ambiguity and contradiction that became the albatross around the political neck of the CCC, and Chamisa birthed and mothered the confusion.

To that end, he must shoulder the blame in toto. 

How can the people of Zimbabwe entrust the future of this great nation in the hands of people who cannot manage the affairs of a political party? 

One need to be convincing with small things before they can be trusted with bigger things. Chamisa is long on speeches but short on delivery. 

Operation restore hope 

Hope for a great future for a great Zimbabwe predicated on the sweat and blood of the great, loyal and patriotic people of Zimbabwe underpinned on the indisputable fact that we are a sovereign nation and people with an undeniable right to chart and follow our own path without coercion and prescriptions from foreign forces. 

This great nation cannot and will not be built on strategic ambiguity, but a deliberate, clear and definite strategy that speaks to the expectations of the generality of the Zimbabwean populace. 

And in the execution of the grand strategy, the ultimate target is to leave no one and no place behind placing the obligation to build this great nation on the shoulders of each and every Zimbabwean, alive to the fact that we are our own liberators and masters of our own destiny. 

The operation to restore hope for a great Zimbabwe resides in the revolutionary party, ZANU PF and the Second Republic. That great future is beckoning! I can see it, feel it and smell it. 

Sam Matema is the MP for Buhera Central constituency and Manicaland Provincial Spokesperson, and writes here in his personal capacity

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